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2020 Debuts~Nicolette Polek (’19) and Asako Serizawa (’16)

Nicolette Polek’s (’19) debut story collection, Imaginary Museums, was published by Soft Skull Press earlier this year.

“In this collection of compact fictions, Nicolette Polek transports us to a gently unsettling realm inhabited by disheveled landlords, a fugitive bride, a seamstress who forgets what people look like, and two rival falconers from neighboring towns. They find themselves in bathhouses, sports bars, grocery stores, and forests in search of exits, pink tennis balls, licorice, and independence. Yet all of her beautifully strange characters are possessed by a familiar and human longing for connection: to their homes, families, God, and themselves.”

Asako Serizawa’s (’16) story collection, Inheritors, was released this summer from Doubleday (July 2020). It is her first book.

“Spanning more than 150 years, and set in multiple locations in colonial and postcolonial Asia and the United States, Inheritors paints a kaleidoscopic portrait of its characters as they grapple with the legacies of loss, imperialism, and war. Serizawa’s characters walk the line between the devastating realities of war and the banal needs of everyday life as they struggle to reconcile their experiences with the changing world. A breathtaking meditation on suppressed histories and the relationship between history, memory, and storytelling.”

Other 2020 debuts highlighted on our website earlier in the year are Chelsea Bieker’s (’18) novel, Godshot (Catapult); Ama Codjoe’s (’17) poetry collection, Blood of the Air (Northwestern University Press); and Fowzia Karimi’s (’11) illustrated novel, Above Us the Milky Way (Deep Vellum).

We also saw new work this summer from creative nonfiction writer Eula Biss (’02) (Having and Being Had, Riverhead Books, September 2020) and poet Joanna Klink (’03) (The Nightfields, Penguin Books, July 2020).



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